FAQ IT support Office 365 small business Technology work from home

Working with files in Teams

Microsoft Teams can make the way a business works together even when they are separated, more effective and more efficient.   

For years, most businesses would have a few files located on a server in the corner of their office.  If someone at another office needed a file, they would ask someone to email them the file.  

This already has created multiple copies of the same file, which takes up additional storage and then raises concerns over version control, data security and what happens to the file if it can be sent outside the company email. 

Microsoft then introduced their OneDrive product (previously called skydrive), which began to help share files over wider networks.  OneDrive allows files to be automatically saved or sync’d with the Microsoft Cloud storage which helps to reduce the version control issues.  Users can open/sync files as long as they are connected to the internet or open files they have synchronised previously with their device, the files can be edited or updated using standard office applications such as Word or Excel or Powerpoint on the users device.  The updated version will sync once it has been saved and the user is online.  You can also edit the files using the online version of office via the office 365 website: www.office.com.   

Sharepoint provided another method for users to share files using a web browser such as Internet Explorer, Chrome, Edge etc.   Sharepoint provides a centralised management and can be structured in a tree structure with permissions.  Over the years developers have been able to expand the functions of Sharepoint and use the platform as an intranet for the business. 

Microsoft Teams brings together a number of Microsoft’s systems to allow users to collaborate more effectively, cutting down the amount of in-house emails being stored and sent.  

A Team can have a single member or 10,000 members.  Teams provide the ability to chat/discuss and share files within the team.  The files can also be edited within Teams using its online versions of office applications.  This means that multiple users can be editing/updating an excel spreadsheet in separate offices/home offices in different countries or sitting in the same office.   

Teams also links directly to the users OneDrive, Dropbox or Google Drive so file access is flexible.  Teams files system is a Sharepoint website and has security, allows files from teams to sync directly to the PC to allow offline work as soon as they are reconnected to the internet the documents update back up to teams and also has some data backup features built in. 

Teams provides users with the ability to search any of the files they have access to if they are a member of a team.  This helps speed up work instead of having to know what folder or drive the files are located on reducing the chance of duplicates of the same document being stored.   

Finally, Teams also has extended the functions of Skype by allowing users to meet using a webcam and then share and discuss the documents they are work on.      

Teams is still in its infancy compared to some products from Microsoft however its built upon many of the core products that Microsoft have produced.  With the power it provides it is a great time to start using it. 

Microsoft are currently offering a 6-month free trial of Office 365 E1 to help teams share work, collaborate on projects and communicate effectively in a protected online environment. As a Silver Microsoft Partner, we are very well-placed to advise on all aspects of migrating team members and their files and email messages to this secure place.

If you would like to know more please contact our Team.